Egyptian army forces destroy tunnels between Egypt and Gaza
22 August 2013
As a part of the operation to raze all tunnels, the Egyptian army forces destroyed five tunnels and a house near the Egyptian border with the Gaza Strip on Wednesday evening.
Palestinian residents in Rafah reported hearing massive sounds of explosions that shook the ground and said they saw plumes of smoke.
Meanwhile, residents in the Egyptian Rafah said that the army destroyed five tunnels and a house owned by an Egyptian citizen, Khalil Ayyad.
The tunnels between Gaza and Egypt are used to smuggle essential commodities into the besieged Strip, including fuel used for Gaza's sole electricity plant and construction materials that are currently banned but much needed after two Israeli wars that destroyed thousands of Palestinians houses and public facilities.
Palestinian sources said that this is the second incident this week, where Egyptian forces have destroyed tunnels using massive explosive devices that shake the ground. They believe that this might undermine the foundations of the houses in the nearby areas.
After the coup against the freely elected Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi last month, the Egyptian army limited the working hours at the Rafah Crossing. However, since 25 off-duty Egyptian soldiers were killed in an attack earlier this week, the crossing has been completely closed down even to patients and students.
The Gaza Strip has been under a strict siege since 2006, when Israel imposed sanctions on the imports and exports of many goods. During this time, Israel also launched two destructive wars, destroying thousands of Palestinian homes, schools, mosques, clinics, and other facilities.
As a result, Palestinians were obliged to dig the tunnels to smuggle essential commodities into Gaza in order to sustain their daily lives.